Costus pictus - Gingers R Us
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Catalog : Costaceae : Hardy Costaceae :

Costus pictus

Type: Rhizome

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Costus pictus flower Costus pictus is a species found from Mexico to Costa Rica and there is some variability in form. The listing here is for the form with the patterned stems and is sometimes sold as "Costus hierogliphica" - a take off on this pattern which is reminiscent of Egyptian hieroglyphics. It has tropical looking wavy foliage. It usually blooms at the top of the stems but occasionally also produces basal blooms. The flowers are beautiful yellow lip and red and yellow stripes on a cone of green bracts.

Costus pictus grows to about 5 ft tall in part shade to nearly full sun. This is the easiest of all the spiral gingers to grow, as it seems to be able to handle a wide range of soil and sunlight. It is rated as being root hardy to zone 8, but I would not be surprised if it could handle colder areas. It can be propagated very easily from stem cuttings. One winter I struck some cuttings in the ground with no rooting hormone just a few days before we were hit with an early winter hard freeze. I never expected them to take, but in the spring I had nearly 100% of them sprouting new growth and by the end of the summer they were 5 ft tall. For best results, Costus pictus should be grown in 4-5 hours direct sun, in rich moist organic soil.


Patterned canes and sometimes basal blooms.

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